Thomas the Tank Engine narrator Michael Angelis has died at the age of 68.

The actor, who worked on Thomas & Friends for more than two decades, passed away suddenly at his home with his wife on Saturday, reports the Mirror.

Michael shot to fame on the popular children’s show after taking over from former Beatle Ringo Starr in 1991.

The TV star from Liverpool would go on to narrate the show until 2012.

He was also known for his roles in a range of films and TV programmes - including The Liver Birds and Love and Boys from the Blackstuff.

Michael also played the villain in series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, starring alongside his Blackstuff co-star Alan Igbon.

Michael, who was married to Coronation Street star Helen Worth from 1991 to 2001, also appeared in a string of films during his career.

His movie career began in 1978 with The Black Stuff.

His last film roles were in 2012, when he appeared in Blue Mountain Mystery and First Time Loser.

Michael re-married after this split from the Gail Platt actress, tying the knot with Welsh model Jennifer Khalastchi in 2001.

Michael was the younger brother of late actor Paul Angelis, who died in 2009 at the age of 77.

The 68-year-old narrated the children's favourite for more than two decades

Paul was best known for his role as PC Bruce Bannerman in Z-Cars.

Michael also appeared in Z-Cars, appearing in two episodes in 1972 and 1974.

His last credited TV role also came in 2012, when he appeared in Good Cop.

Before that, he'd had acted in The Bill, Midsomer Murders, Heartbeat, Holby City and a string of other shows.

Fans of Michael took to Twitter to mourn his death on Saturday night – with many commemorating his work on Thomas the Tank Engine.

One fan tweeted: “Ringo Starr may have started it, but Michael Angelis was the show. There's a reason he was the narrator for over 20 years. He was just that good.”

While another remarked: “Desperately sad to hear the news that dear Michael Angelis has left us.

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“To me and many others, he was the definitive voice of this cheeky little engine, his tone calm and gentle but exciting and thrilling as well!

“Thank you, Michael. You were far more than just Really Useful.”